Sunday, February 2, 2014

We Know Dr. Krumholz Has Asked Merck; It Is High Time For Whitehouse Station To Follow GSK and J&J

This is extremely important. I am truly sorry I did not get to it sooner. I was just alerted to it this very morning, by a kind commenter.

Please heed my call to action, at the bottom of the post. I almost never do this sort of direct action campaign stuff, with my readership -- but this is perhaps the most worthy exception I can imagine.

We need to advance science -- and save (many more) lives. This data release will not cause any competitive disadvantage to Merck's shareholders, if restricted to world-renown academic institutions like Yale -- and Dr. Krumholz. Your data will be in the safest of hands, here Mr. Frazier. Most of my readers, and I personally, will vouch for that. [In fact, you already know this to be true. You know first hand, first-chair, in fact -- that he was an entirely honorable advocate of good science in both the Voixx®, and Vytorin® ENHANCE calamities. Nothing more -- but nothing less, either. And you should tell your shareholders the same, if asked.]

Here is more of my background on Dr. Krumholz -- he is purely, honorably, and simply about the pursuit of advanced scientific knowlege -- to save lives. [Now, while you are reading this, oh gentle readers, please hit "print" on the full color graphic at right -- you'll need it in a minute.] Here is the featured bit of the Bloomberg story I promised while working out, this morning -- do go read it all, for background:

. . . .The collaboration with Yale University’s Open Data Access Project, or YODA, gives the school power to release years of J&J drug findings to outside researchers. Harlan Krumholz, the Yale researcher leading the project, said it will open up a world of information about how drugs work, and their risks and benefits.

While the U.S. has required the registration of clinical trials since 1997, drugmakers still have wide latitude on deciding what data from those tests they will disclose to the public. That created an opportunity to hide failures and lackluster results that advocacy groups said may have been useful to ensuring patient safety.

"There are great insights that are residing within these data," Krumholz, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, said in a telephone interview. "It really will be game-changing."

The increased transparency by New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J, the world’s biggest maker of health-care products, may prompt other drugmakers to do the same. Krumholz, without naming any, said he has reached out to other companies before and some "are reluctant to give up the control. . . ."

This is both an open invitation -- and a challenge of sorts: I am asking all 15,000 regular visitors of this blog to simply print out, cut and paste the full size version of the above graphic, and mail it -- old school paper mail way -- to the attention of Kenneth Frazier, Merck's Chairman and CEO, at One Merck Drive, P.O. Box 100, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 08889-0100 U.S.A. . . . or if you don't mind being known by email, simply address it to Please write attention Chairman Frazier, in your message header -- so the Office of Corporate Responsibility will be able to readily and easily forward it to him, personally. Mr. Frazier: Please call Dr. Krumholz, and agree to participate -- along with your larger, now more transparent peers -- in pharma-space.

If by March 22, 2014, Dr. Krumholz has not heard from you, I will begin a more formal lobbying campaign, using all available means to get this very worthwhile point across. This data can save lives -- and if you people at Merck are all about "Be[ing] Well" (i.e., doing well, by doing good), then just "Man up -- and do it." Thank you -- we now return you to your big game pre-shows.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Condor, I applaud your efforts! In this case though I think they are misdirected. Merck may very well take some major steps along these lines, but I would be shocked if they would involve this particular investigator. He authored a "scientific" publication based on cherry picked & out-of-context Merck e-mails obtained by Vioxx plaintiffs attorneys, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a real lack of trust here.
I love your idea of a letter writing campaign, but I think this particular opportunity has a low likelihood of success.